BLW: Let’s welcome the successful Indian author Samir Satam to Book Lovers World. Samir lives in Bombay where he works as a Software Engineer in one of the multi-national IT companies. He is an avid reader, a serious cinema lover and an individualist by nature. At an early age, he started writing his diary in verses and thus developed his passion for poetry. Postcards from Memory is his first book of poetry, and is among the among the top selling books on Amazon and Flipkart.
Samir Satam: Thank you so much for the introduction. Am glad to be here… (Smiles)
BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the getting published your debut book “Postcards From Memory”. Tell us a little about yourself.
Samir Satam: Thanks a lot for the wishes. I am glad that my first book worked out the way it did and I am thankful to all my readers who have made it a success.
About me, that’s one question I will never ever be able to answer… (Smiles)
BLW: We know that you are one awesome poet. Tell us about your book Postcards from Memory, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing it? How long did it take to write this book?
Samir Satam: You flatter me… (smiles)… For me Postcards from Memory is like a dream come true. I always wrote poems for myself and sometimes used them to assassinate my friends. One of my friends got so frustrated that he asked me to get them published so that others get a chance to get slaughtered too… (smiles)…
On a serious note, I am too lazy to approach people in judging positions and convince them about the selling points of my work…. My friends did push me to approach publishers. They thought it would be unfair if my poems don’t reach people who can connect with them. I remember one of my friends saying, you have no right to keep so much beauty hidden in your stupid notepad.
BLW: Postcards from Memory is a bag full of memories and inspiring poems. We would like to know the home work you did to write this book.
Samir Satam: There’s no homework behind my poems. Mostly a poem reflects a poet’s state of mind. I believe it won’t be a poem if we try to write one. As clichéd as it may sound, but I do firmly believe, Poets don’t write poems. On the contrary, poems choose poets to take birth on paper.
BLW: What inspired you to write this book?
Samir Satam: Nothing extraordinary… Just Life… (smiles).
BLW: What was your learning from writing this book?
Samir Satam: Writing helps me know myself better. I have learnt that we think we know ourselves very well but there is so much within us that’s yet unknown to us. Our inner self is a travel destination that we can never explore enough. There are different ways people keep learning about themselves. My way of traveling within is writing and these poems happen to be the postcards I sent back to present while I was on tour.
BLW: Postcards from Memory is poetry book covering different shades of life. Would you be sticking to poetry or would you be writing stories as well in future?
Samir Satam: I cannot stop myself from writing poetry. If I do, I might end up in an asylum. Writing poems is the only way I can keep my sanity. Writing stories is an art that I am still developing. Let’s see how that goes.
BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?
Samir Satam: I am lucky in that sense. Inspiration doesn’t wait for my invitation. I write in all sorts of places. Sometimes I even wake up from my sleep with a thought and start keying words in my phone, so that they are not lost. But I enjoy writing the most in hidden coffee shops which don’t have people waiting for table. There’s nothing more exciting than having solitude, a cup of coffee and a head full of thoughts ready to take shape on paper. Other than that, some of my personal favorite poems have happened to me while traveling solo. Those poems give me a different kind of high. It’s as if poems have the power to become places and you can never think of those places without your poem playing on your mind.
BLW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Samir Satam: I wanted to be a lot of things…. Some normal, some bizarre… To start with, like any self respecting comic reader, I wanted to grow up to become Superman… Then Peter Pan… Then Dorian Gray… Then an astronaut… A film director… Casanova… Weapons manufacturer… Scientist… Chef… At some point I realized that the most convenient way of being all these things in one life, is to be a writer.
BLW: What are your inspirations?
Samir Satam: My biggest inspiration has always been life as it happens. I think we are all infected by life. I just use that infection to my own advantage.
BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?
Samir Satam: There are quite a few… Literary Fiction as a genre attracts me. Non-Fiction books that dig in the psychology of their subjects also interest me. For me, the characters in a book are effective only when I understand how their minds work. So when I come across such books, they make a mark in me for life.
BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?
Samir Satam: I have a poetry book ready, but again I am just being lazy to approach publishers… I am in middle of writing a novel, but it’s too early to say anything about it. I am still too far from deciding the destiny of that story. I have written a few short stories but haven’t thought of publishing them yet.
BLW: What other secret skills do you have?
Samir Satam: If I tell them to you, they won’t remain a secret. (Smiles)… I don’t count it as a skill but I love experimenting with food… Both cooking and eating…
BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books. What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.
Samir Satam: I couldn’t agree more… Reading is indeed a potent marinade to your own experiences in the recipe that bakes in your mind and comes out on paper… To choose five is a difficult task… My all time favorites include:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Music of Solitude by Krishna Sobti
All poetry books by Gulzar sahaab
Jail Notebook and other Writings by Bhagat Singh
Without Fear by Kuldip Nayar
Somehow each of these books have helped me in looking at life from a different perspective, thus they have been instrumental in shaping me into what I am as a person today. And what I become, I write…
BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?
Samir Satam: I don’t think I can advise my peers or aspiring authors. Each writer has his / her own way of writing. I can just share what I believe in. The market should follow an author’s writing styles. Author’s writing style shouldn’t follow the market!
BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!
Samir Satam: As long as there are people who cherish the company of books, the world doesn’t have the right to end… Keep reading, pals…
Thank you so much for your time, Samir. It’s our pleasure to chat with you.